New York set to SLASH police numbers to fund surge in migrant arrivals

Eric Roberts

New York Mayor Eric Roberts called the decision 'one of the most painful exercises I’ve gone through'.

George Bunn

By George Bunn

Published: 17/11/2023

- 15:38

Mayor Eric Adams said the slowing tax revenues and the ending of federal pandemic aid was also to blame

New York mayor Eric Adams has announced there will be cuts to police numbers in the city due to the migrant crisis.

The move means that the number of New York Police Department officers would be below 30,000 for the first time since the 1980's.

The cuts also mean that the Education Department budget would be slashed by $1billion over two years.

The Democrat mayor said the move was also in response to slowing tax revenues and the ending of federal pandemic aid.

Police union chiefs have warned there could be a return to 80s level of crime


He said: “In all my time in government, this is probably one of the most painful exercises I’ve gone through.

"No city should be left to handle a national humanitarian crisis largely on its own, and without the significant and timely support we need from Washington, DC, today’s budget will be only the beginning"

The cuts would also weaken the summer school and universal prekindergarten, two popular programmes.

The programme of composting in the Bronx and Staten Island which aims to address rats and climate change would also be delayed.


Adams said that the cost of the migrant crisis was growing and expected to cost nearly $11billion over two years and that next year’s budget had a major $7billion gap.

The mayor is facing two crises that could come to define his mayoralty and his chances at winning a second term. An influx of migrants and a federal investigation into his campaign’s fund-raising.

The announcement was met with backlash from Mayor Adams' Democrat colleagues.

Chair of the City Council’s progressive caucus Lincoln Restler said: "Mayor Adams’s unnecessary, dangerous and draconian budget cuts will only worsen New York’s affordability crisis and delay our city’s economic recovery by cutting funding for the schools, child care, food assistance and more that help New Yorkers live and raise families in this city."

Police union president Patrick Hendry has warned that the streets of New York will not be safer.

He said: "This is truly a disaster for every New Yorker who cares about safe streets.

"Cops are already stretched to our breaking point, and these cuts will return us to staffing levels we haven’t seen since the crime epidemic of the ’80s and ’90s.

"We cannot go back there."

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